Setting up a tech business can seem deceptively simple, in fact, you might even be able to set it up very quickly. This all sounds great, doesn’t it? But today’s entrepreneur should be very wary because it’s easy to make mistakes.
Tech entrepreneurs, in particular, can easily trip up and make mistakes without even realising it, at best this could just take a long time to correct which will stall your businesses development. But at worst it could end with you facing serious legal consequences.
Yes, this is a rare, worst-case scenario but it can happen! So, it’s important that today’s tech start-ups know what key legal issues they will need to work out first so they can ensure they don’t fall into any potential legal troubles.
There’s a lot to look at and consider but we can help, below we’ve listed the main key legal issues tech start-ups will need to work out. Remember this is complicated work by design so you don’t have to go it alone, there’s plenty of legal assistance and help available.
So, if you’re unsure which cause of action is best then make an appointment with a lawyer such as www.joneswhyte.co.uk or a business planner to get some professional advice and assistance. Now let’s take a look at the key legal issues for tech start-ups.
One of the first steps of setting up your business is choosing your business name and your domain name, whatever you do don’t just pick the first thing that sounds good. You should make sure you thoroughly check out any names first to make sure you avoid anything problematic.
If you want to use an acronym of some kind make sure it doesn’t already stand for something else. Even if the name is not currently in use you should also run a check with the UK Intellectual Property Office because someone else could already hold the rights to it.
These checks can be done very quickly so there is really no excuse to not at least check things through first. Once you have got the name sorted you should register it as a trademark yourself, contrary to popular belief this isn’t something you actually need to do.
And many businesses choose not to do it straight away, however you should because it will ensure your business is protected. There is even a number of different ways you can go about registering your business if you utilise the services of a Companies House no one else will be able to register a business with the same name.
However, you won’t actually be trademarked, this means someone else could come along and trademark your business name for themselves. So, if you really want to ensure your business is protected make sure you get its name fully trademarked.
Non-disclosure agreements are used in all kinds of businesses but when it comes to the tech industry they are even more valuable. Many tech start-up businesses will be developing new technologies and products which is why ensuring your data is safe and protected is of the utmost importance.
That is why many tech start-up businesses will want to utilise non-disclosure agreements (NDA) these documents will ensure (to some degree) that your employees won’t leak any information about your businesses products to your competition.
Yes, while you might understandably feel a little awkward asking your employees to sign an NDA there really is no need to. It’s a common document in the tech industry and really no one should have an issue with signing one. They offer you a great deal of protection and start-up businesses, in particular, will be sure to benefit from them.
Cookies and The Importance of Personal Data
If you have been keeping up with the news in the past few years, then you likely already know that there have been a few changes when it comes to the importance of cookies and collecting personal data. Regulations have changed when it comes to cookies and now websites have to be a lot more thorough.
Now your website will have to give much more detailed and comprehensive information about the cookies on the site and detail what data is collected and what it is used for. This might sound difficult but it’s basically a job that’s always been done now it just requires more detail.
Of course, this all also depends on what your business does, if you do collect data then you must comply with the Data Protection Act and ensure you are also registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office.
There are a lot of things you need to take into account when it comes to cookies and personal data but ensuring you are always protected and following the right guidelines is essential for both your protection and your users.
The Importance of Your Businesses Structure
Finally, the last area of importance is the structure of your business, a tech start-up can be structured in many different ways but one of the most popular is the limited company structure. In this model of business, you, your partners, employees and investors can hold shares in your business.
There are many advantages to this but the prime reason many people choose this structure is that it limits your level of personal liability. Your business will also effectively have a separate legal character of its own as well.
If you do choose to structure your business in this manner, then you need to ensure you have an official shareholders agreement set-up. This will govern what happens with the shares and protect any holders.
If you do decide to choose a different structure, then there are other documents you will need to go through. For example, if you decide to set-up your tech start-up as a partnership then you will need to set-up a partnership agreement.
So, that is a look at some of the prime legal matters you will need to consider when setting up your tech business. Remember while you might be able to go through the process quickly you’d be smarter to take your time to avoid any legal slipups.